Reacting to the Past at Duke

In late January, instructors from across the Southeast flocked to Duke to learn about and help take part in developing new pedagogical activities. Participants at the Reacting to the Past Regional Conference, co-sponsored by the Duke Franklin Humanities Institute and Wake Forest University, participated in two in-development games exploring two distinct periods in history.

Participants each played a role in elaborate games set in the past, which included Defining a Nation: India on the Eve of Independence: 1945 as well as Frederick Douglass, Slavery, Abolitionism, and the Constitution: 1845. Attendees took part in engaging activities designed for in-classroom use, such as critiquing and discussing a “newly published” book, “The Narrative of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Written by Himself.” Attendees debated about historical events through the perspective of their characters, and in doing so developed an understanding of personal motivations by experiencing personal challenges such as reconciling religious identity with nation building.

If you are interested in exploring game pedagogy, especially in terms of using technology to further your “flipped classroom,” please let us know!

Here is a Storify of the event that collates images and tweets from the event. It was put together by organizer Adeline Koh, who is currently putting together a great RTTP game called “Trading Races” as part of a Duke Humanities Writ Large project.

Here are some highlights from Reacting to the Past attendees: